The eCR Now COVID-19 Challenge

FHIR®-Up Your EHR to Help Manage the Spread

The eCR Now initiative and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) call on healthcare organizations to implement electronic case reporting (eCR) for COVID-19 and other diseases. Public health agencies need more timely and complete data. Hospitals, healthcare systems, ambulatory practices, and their partners can increase the implementation of eCR through participation in the eCR Now COVID-19 Challenge (“the Challenge”). 

The Challenge will increase the number of electronic health records (EHRs) enabled with eCR capabilities by use of the eCR Now FHIR® App and the HL7 FHIR® standard. The App enables eCR, helps meet legal reporting requirements, fulfills CMS’ Promoting Interoperability Program requirements, and moves public health in our nation forward.

The eCR Now COVID-19 Challenge will make up to three awards of $100,000 and three awards of $60,000 to eligible participants that accomplish production electronic case reporting for COVID-19 using the eCR Now FHIR® App.

Informational Webinar - November 19, 2020, 1 p.m. Eastern

Technical Informational Webinar - December 1, 2020, 1 p.m. Eastern

Challenge details

Challenge requirements

  • Implement production electronic case reporting (eCR) using the eCR Now FHIR® App in one or more healthcare facility(ies).
  • Fulfill the eCR Implementation Requirements Checklist.
  • Utilize the App’s HL7 electronic initial case reporting (eICR) version 1.1 and Reportability Response 1.0 documents.
  • Use the App to submit eICRs to the APHL Informatics Messaging Services (AIMS) platform for confirmation of reportability and delivery to appropriate public health agencies.
  • Receive Reportability Responses and deliver the relevant ones to the patient’s chart and/or the provider of care.
  • Demonstrate successful implementation(s) to the Challenge panel.
  • All challenge application material must be submitted by midnight ET on April 16, 2021.

Challenge categories and awards

  • Implementation in hospitals/health systems in the United States and its Territories
    • Up to three awards of $100,000 each.
    • APHL anticipates that one of the three awards will go to implementation in a hospital or hospitals serving a predominately rural and/or underserved population.
  • Implementation in ambulatory practice(s) in the United States and its Territories
    • Up to three awards of $60,000 each.
    • APHL anticipates that one of the three awards will go to implementation in an ambulatory provider, or group of ambulatory providers, serving a predominately rural and/or underserved population.

Judging criteria

In making awards, all decisions of the independent Challenge panel will be final. The Challenge panel will consider the following attributes of submitting applicants:

  • Breadth of Impact: The breadth of impact will be evaluated by evidence of:
    • the number of patients and providers that are covered by the new eCR reporting,
    • the implementation of eCR in one or more EHR product(s) that have not previously implemented eCR capabilities,
    • support for validation of reporting data and meet provider goals for consideration of turning off manual reporting.
  • Minimizing Provider Burden: Minimizing provider burden will be evaluated by evidence of:
    • launching the eCR Now FHIR® App without provider workflow interruption (ideally consistently and invisibly to the provider),
    • minimizing any requirements for manual reporting by launching the app for the full breadth of patient encounters.
  • Maximizing Provider Value: Maximizing provider value will be evaluated by evidence of:
    • delivery of appropriate Reportability Responses (those that identify one or more “reportable” or “may be reportable” condition),
    • delivery to the patient’s record and/or the provider of record and/or appropriate infection control and/or when appropriate administrative reporting staff.
  • Policy and Technical Compliance: Policy and technical compliance will be evaluated by evidence of:

Award organization and team possibilities

  • Awards can be made to a variety of organization types and teams

  • Award recipient / team members can be:

    • Healthcare organization
    • EHR vendor
    • Health information exchange
    • Third party reporting organization
    • Health Center Controlled Network
    • Others…

Challenge award funding, administration, and rules

  • The Challenge awards are made possible by funding from the CDC Foundation (external link) and will be administered by APHL.
  • All awards are made at the discretion of the Challenge panel and are final.  
  • Only complete application submissions will be considered for an award.
  • APHL and CDC Foundation employees and their contactors are not eligible for challenge awards.

Steps

1. Express Intent: By January 15, 2021, email your non-binding interest in Challenge participation to eCR-Info@aimsplatform.org.

  • The expression of interest is important for subsequent communications.
    • Individual organizations or groups/teams can register their intent.
    • Individual organizations expressing their intent can subsequently represent teams.
    • Please include the following in your intent email:
      • Your eCR Now COVID-19 Challenge team name 
      • Contact information (name, email address, phone number, and organizational affiliation on at least one person is required) 
      • Organization name(s) and address(es) of one or more involved organizations 
      • The EHR(s) name(s) and product planned to be eCR-enabled in the Challenge 
  • Expressions of intent will receive an email acknowledgement.

2. Attend an eCR Now COVID-19 Challenge Informational Webinar

Find out more about the Challenge, ask questions for eCR public health and technical experts, and get further informed by attending a webinar

3. Implement: Complete implementation of the eCR Now FHIR® app for production COVID-19 electronic case reporting for one or more clinical care sites by April 16, 2021

4. Application Submission: To be officially considered during the judging process, submit the following to eCR-Info@aimsplatform.org, by midnight ET on April 16, 2021:

  • Details on you or your team. 
    • Your eCR Now COVID-19 Challenge team name
    • Contact information (name, email address, phone number, and organizational affiliations)
    • Organizational name and address of one or more submitting organizations 
    • EHR(s) name(s) and product(s) used to enable electronic case reporting  
  • Written evidence of addressing the evaluation criteria for:
    • Breadth of Impact
    • Minimizing Provider Burden
    • Maximizing Provider Value
    • Policy and Technical Compliance
  • Identify the jurisdiction(s) where implementation(s) sites are located.